I think I've finished 5 episodes now. I'm not sure what to think just yet. Whereas the previous seasons had episodes that stood well on their own, this season it is clear that the episodes are much more interconnected. A lot of the jokes and stories don't pan out until a later episode. For that reason, it is hard to judge whether I like it or not until I've watched all of it.
I can say that so far I also don't like what they've done with Michael's character. I know he was always a bit self-absorbed and oblivious, but now they have taken it to a whole new level. At least before he was still (mostly) honorable and likable. But I'll see where the rest of the episodes go.
Also, I am seriously missing the lack of Gob in these earlier episodes. It's made me realize that perhaps he was the funniest and my favorite character on the show. Even when he's not making an explicit joke, just the way he moves and talks is hilarious. There's not as many laugh out loud moments without him. I am looking forward to the Gob episode (which I think is next for me).